My inner voice hasn’t always been good to me. You know, the one that shows up in your head to reinforce all of your insecurities, doubts and fears? Yeah. That one. It’s such a bitch.
For as long as I can remember I’ve given that voice a seat at the head of the table to determine so many things in my life, but the one that stands out the most was the one that screamed at me about my self-worth. It was always there telling me I wasn’t worthy of so many things – real love, success, joy, authentic contentment. It told me so many awful things – that I wasn’t good enough, my body needed work, that I wasn’t worthy of good, real love. And because I heard that voice for so long, I believed it.
I remember my breaking point. I had a moment of insecurity with my boyfriend which had caused a fight. I knew I was being irrational and I was mad at myself that I had made an issue out of a non-issue. Again. The next morning I scheduled an appointment with my therapist because there was no way I was going to let this voice ruin this amazing relationship I had finally found and I knew I couldn’t do it alone.
When I walked in she asked how I was and the words “I’m so tired of reliving the same issues, fear and insecurities. They’ve followed me my entire life and I don’t care what amount of work I have do, I can’t keep living this way. I’m too old for this shit. Help me” immediately fell out of my mouth.
It’s amazing how we can let our inner dialogue control our lives. It’s even more mind blowing when that dialogue is one that is self-destroying and damaging – it starts off quietly in the background and before we know it, it’s the loudest one, screaming for our attention every time we pause.
Maybe it starts while you’re looking in the mirror after a shower and notice the dimples on your thighs. Maybe it’s when you’re scrolling through social media and comparing yourself to the “perfect” women that we assume all men prefer. When someone you love tells you that you aren’t enough. Maybe it’s because of something damaging that happened to you growing up that you’ve long forgotten, or perhaps it’s still very raw in your memory. There are so many reasons this voice is given rights, and they’re unique to everyone.
I had given this voice 40 years to tell me all the bad things about myself, and I knew I wasn’t going to give it another 40 to crap on my parade of life. So I went to work. Hard work, you guys. But I knew I was done living a life that the wrong voice had a say so in my ultimate well-being and happiness, so I invested in myself and did it. It’s been hard and sometimes it’s flat out sucked, but I can tell you it’s changing me for the better.
The negative voice that controlled me for as long as I can remember is losing its hold on me. Every time it shows up (and it still tries on the reg) I do my best to shut it down. I may not get it right on the first attempt every time (and I’m still not always successful) but I am fighting hard to let my positive voice (the one that loves and supports and adores me) take the lead because I know am absolutely worth it.
When I walked into therapy that first day back “I’m not worthy” fell out of my mouth. Speaking that truth made me cry. Hearing myself speak those words hurt in ways I can’t begin to explain. But a month ago the words “I am so worthy” freely fell out of my mouth and I cried all over again, for very different reasons. The joy in that moment was unmeasurable.
If I can leave you with anything it would be to be gentle with yourself. Give yourself grace. Stop comparing yourself and find a way to shut down the voice that renders you powerless. Maybe you can do that by yourself – maybe you need someone to guide you – but regardless, shut. that. bitch. down. I can promise you that even though it isn’t easy, finding the way to silence it is absolute freedom. You are beautiful, you are a good mom, you are a good partner, you are enough. You are absolutely worthy of all the things.
Love yourself well. Love your people well.